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Monitoring Motivation Factors for Girls in Summer Robotics Program

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Technical Session

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30821

Download Count

28

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Paper Authors

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Michele Miller Campbell University

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Dr. Michele Miller is a Professor and Associate Dean at Campbell University. Prior to joining Campbell, she was a professor of mechanical engineering at Michigan Tech. She teaches courses in manufacturing and does research on engineering education.

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Saeedeh Ziaeefard Michigan Technological University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3511-0907

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Saeedeh Ziaeefard is a PhD student and research assistant with Nonlinear and Autonomous Systems Laboratory (NASLab) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University. Her research interests include engineering education, control, and navigation of autonomous underwater vehicles.

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Brian R Page Michigan Technological University

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Lauren Nicole Knop Michigan Technological University

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Lauren Knop received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN,
USA, in 2015; and the M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University,
Houghton, MI, USA, in 2017. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at Michigan
Technological University, Houghton, MI, USA.

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Guilherme Aramizo Ribeiro Michigan Technological University

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Guilherme Aramizo Ribeiro completed his bachelor's degree in Mechatronics Engineering in Brazil, and is pursuing his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering in Michigan Technological University. His research interests include studying the biomechanics of the human gait, and introducing computer vision information to improve the control of robotic prostheses.

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Mo Rastgaar

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Dr. Mo Rastgaar received the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA, in 2008.
He is currently an Associate Professor in mechanical engineering and the Director of the Human-Interactive Robotics Lab. His present research focuses on developing assistive robots through characterizing the agility in the human gait. Dr. Rastgaar is a recipient of 2014 NSF CAREER Award.

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Nina Mahmoudian Michigan Technological University

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Dr. Nina Mahmoudian is Lou and Herbert Wacker Associate Professor in Autonomous Mobile Systems in the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department at Michigan Technological University. She is the founding director of the Nonlinear and Autonomous Systems Laboratory (NASLab). Her research interests include robotics, energy autonomy, system design, dynamics and controls. She is a recipient of 2015 National Science Foundation CAREER award and 2015 Office of Naval Research YIP award.

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Abstract

Participation in robotics programs has drawn many young people to STEM education and careers. Robotics present a rich multi-disciplinary learning experience that touches upon several STEM disciplines including electronics, controls, fabrication, and computer programming. Many robotics programs are mission based, involving competition with other robots. We believe that the appeal of robots can be broadened even further by showing how robots can solve important problems. Mission-based robots show off the capabilities of robots but may not spur the imagination into coming up with ways to use robots to solve problems.

Our team developed two educational robotic platforms that cost less than $1000: an underwater glider called GUPPIE and a surface electromyography (sEMG)–controlled manipulator called Neu-pulator. GUPPIE is an underwater robot that has application in monitoring and inspection of the environment, thus introducing the concept of robots as co-explorers in everyday life. Neu-pulator is a human-interactive robot that uses electrical activity of human muscles to move a manipulator. It introduces students to assistive robots, which are a class of co-robots that amplify or compensate for human capabilities. We hypothesize that meaningful contexts and hands-on learning with these types of robotic platforms will broaden impact to diverse audiences and increase interest in critical STEM areas.

Our university hosts summer educational camps for middle and high school aged students. For the past three summers, GUPPIE and Neu-pulator were introduced to middle and high school boys and girls in week-long summer camps. We collected data from pre and post-camp surveys and from daily activity surveys. From the data we investigated what students imagine robots to be useful for, what interests them about robotics, what robotics activities increase their interest and why, and confidence in doing robotics activities. We compare the results for boys and girls in single sex and mixed sex camps and highlight differences.

Miller, M., & Ziaeefard, S., & Page, B. R., & Knop, L. N., & Aramizo Ribeiro, G., & Rastgaar, M., & Mahmoudian, N. (2018, June), Monitoring Motivation Factors for Girls in Summer Robotics Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30821

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